A Defeated Red Sox Fan
Ken Rosenthal Called Them Dorks Of The Week... And He Is Right.
As many of you know from my previous blogs, I was a staunch advocate for the Red Sox, pursuing both Yamamoto and Ohtani. The rationale was straightforward: leveraging the friendship between Yamamoto and Masataka to position the Red Sox as frontrunners seemed like a strategic move. Yet, despite these hopes, it appears this dream pairing won't materialize. If you want to see me be completely wrong, please click here and here.
The buzz around Yamamoto's price potentially hitting a staggering $400 million has been a hot topic. While I won't delve too deeply into the veracity of these rumors, such a figure does bring me to a point of acceptance – it might be time for the Red Sox to step back from this deal. This isn't an easy admission, especially considering the team's declaration of going "full throttle" in free agency following Chaim Bloom's departure. Breslow's assertion that money wouldn't be an obstacle begs the question: What's holding the Red Sox back, Craig?
The Red Sox, a franchise celebrated as the most successful MLB team of the 21st century, boasting the iconic Fenway Park and a fiercely loyal fan base, have so far offered a lukewarm offseason. The acquisitions of Cooper Criswell and a trade for Tyler O’Neill, while not insignificant, don't match the expectations set by the team's management. This is particularly glaring when we look at the Red Sox's Opening Day Payrolls since their 2004 World Series win – consistently ranking in the top tiers but dropping to 14th in 2023.
Red Sox Opening Day Payrolls Ranking By Year
2018- 1st (World Series)
2013- 4th (World Series)
2007- 2nd (World Series)
2004-2nd( World Series)
Look, I am not saying that you need to be #1 in spending every single year. The Yankees and Dodgers have held those spots, and they have combined for two World Series in the past 20 years. But if you are going to end up in the middle of the league for payroll, expect to be mid-tier. I understand the want to avoid the luxury tax, but with the way other teams are spending it might be time to re-think the strategy.
My gripe at this point is with the ownership. After reading "Miracle At Fenway” by Saul Wisnia, I found a new appreciation for John Henry and the ownership group. You could see the real desire to come in, break the curse, and build a little dynasty. And they did. But now I feel like the franchise is lost as to what it wants to be. Fans have just sat by in the past five years while homegrown fan favorites have walked or been traded away.
Suggested Offseason Acquisitions
Here are some moves I think the team should at least consider.
Shota Imanaga: While the pursuit of Yamamoto might be fading, Imanaga emerges as a compelling alternative. Estimated to cost around $100 million, he's a left-handed pitcher who, according to insiders, might offer better value than Yamamoto, especially considering the price difference.
Rhys Hoskins: The Red Sox should consider a one-year "prove-it" deal with Hoskins, with a potential club option for a second year. Despite seeming like an awkward fit on paper, Hoskins' versatility as a former outfielder could be a strategic addition, offering depth and power to the lineup.
Mitch Garver: The current lack of offensive threat from Reese McGuire and Connor Wong makes Garver an attractive option. A 2-year, $25 million deal could significantly bolster the team's batting strength.
Lucas Giolito: Despite some personal friction(his dad hates us), Giolito's ability to pitch deep into games is something the team sorely needs. His average of 5.7 innings per start starkly contrasts with the Red Sox starters' struggle last year, where they surpassed six innings in only 43 games.
A Call to the Ownership
The current strategy, or lack thereof, by the Red Sox ownership, is a far cry from the ambition and drive that led to the breaking of the "Curse of the Bambino" and the establishment of a formidable dynasty. It's time for the owners to revisit their earlier zeal and make moves that align with the team's legacy and fan expectations. Stop focusing on Liverpool and start focusing on the Red Sox.
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